Earlier this week, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) announced that they’ll be forming a special task force called Drone Services Special Emergency Response Team (PTK2Dron) and that it’ll be facilitated by Technology Park Malaysia. Today, the drones have officially hit the sky, with over 20 of them activated to help flood recovery operations deliver critical supplies like medication, food and power banks to hard to reach areas throughout Selangor, as well as survey the flood-hit regions.
The drones used, as pictured above, appear to be the same ones that were featured back in March this year during the launch of the Urban Drone Delivery Sandbox program in Cyberjaya. That would make sense of course, seeing as the two companies involved it that, Meraque Services and VStream Revolution, are also helping out MOSTI as part of the PTK2Dron task force. They joined other local tech companies like Aerodyne Group, GeoPrecision and Alphaswift Industrices working together to provide drones in the recovery efforts.
According to MOSTI, Meraque Services were the first to see their drones take off, working with Pharmaniaga to deliver medication to victims in the flood-hit regions of Selangor. Among the areas these drones covered include Taman Sri Muda, Kampung Lombong and Lanchong, Kampung Lanchang Jaya and Taman Alam Indah. Furthermore, there were also several unmanned autonomous vehicles that were deployed to deliver critical aid and supplies up to 10 kilos in weight. A number of drones were also used for surveying the floods, and those were equipped with night vision cameras and thermal sensors. Here’s a closer look at the delivery drones Meraque used from an older promotional video of theirs:
MOSTI added that this wasn’t the first time that drones were deployed to help authorities out. They had first tested out the feasibility of using drones to delivery emergency aid in Perak back in October, shipping over payloads from the mainland to Pangkor Island. According to MOSTI, they found that these drones were both more cost effective as well as time saving compared to other logistical alternatives such as using a boat. Drones are also easier to use when needing to deliver to hard to reach areas, such as narrow pathways.
On top of that, MOSTI highlighted that these domestic tech and drone companies are involved with the flood relief program and are providing their help out of a sense of social responsibility and service towards the country and the rakyat. In Selangor right now, the PTK2Dron task force are working close with authorities and frontliners to quickly and effectively provide assistance.